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The Metonymic Access of Emotion Concepts

Sauciuc, Gabriela-Alina LU (2010) The Stockholm 2010 Metaphor Festival (SMF)
Abstract
Examples from the affective domain have been plentifully employed for illustrating and sustaining the claims of the conceptual metaphor theory (Lakoff 1980, 1992, Kövecses 1986, 1990, 2000, King 1989, Yu 1995, Matsuki, 1995, Soriano-Salinas 2003, etc.). According to this position, affective concepts (as many other abstract concepts) are metaphorically structured, i.e. conceptualized in terms of more concrete domains. In the most radical version of this theory, the metaphoric structure of affective concept is posited as an obligatory conceptual universal: it is impossible to think and talk about affective experience without resorting to metaphor.

In this study extensive cross-linguistic qualitative data, collected on several... (More)
Examples from the affective domain have been plentifully employed for illustrating and sustaining the claims of the conceptual metaphor theory (Lakoff 1980, 1992, Kövecses 1986, 1990, 2000, King 1989, Yu 1995, Matsuki, 1995, Soriano-Salinas 2003, etc.). According to this position, affective concepts (as many other abstract concepts) are metaphorically structured, i.e. conceptualized in terms of more concrete domains. In the most radical version of this theory, the metaphoric structure of affective concept is posited as an obligatory conceptual universal: it is impossible to think and talk about affective experience without resorting to metaphor.

In this study extensive cross-linguistic qualitative data, collected on several superordinate affective categories in 6 languages (Scandinavian and Romance) and on 18 different basic-level categories in Danish and Romanian have been analysed with the aim of assessing (among others) whether 1) affective concepts are metaphorically structured and if so then; 2) to which extent (i.e. whether in an obligatory manner); 3) what are the likely formats and conceptual domains involved; 4) can “national styles” be delineated in people’s use (extent, format, content) of metaphor or other figurative language.

The data indicates that affective experience is generally conceptualized in terms of scenarios and that respondents access affective concepts metonymically, focusing first and foremost on antecedents and consequences of affect. Metaphor may abound when people have to deal with explaining the subjective feeling of having an affective experience, or when focusing on aspects pertaining to affect-induced cognitive biases, regulation and control strategies, but in none of the cases metaphor can be said to be obligatory. Such metaphors do not appear to accomplish a discriminatory role so that it could capture the specificity of affective experience in relation to other mental processes (such concepts may share, for instance, metaphors of mental causation or psychological force dynamics). Instead, metonymy affords metaphor. It is not the affective experience as a gestalt which is understood in terms of less abstract domains; the metaphoric mapping, when it applies, concerns specific aspects of affective experience which can be accessed, optionally, in a metaphoric or non-metaphoric way. Finally, the data do not allow for the identification of some affective master-metaphor (as suggested by previous studies) that would be able to summarize the types of knowledge elicited by accessing affective concepts (a theory- or knowledge-based approach to concepts is adopted here, in line with Murphy and Medin 1985, Murphy 2003). (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
emotion, conceptualization, conceptual metaphor, metonymy, multilingual
conference name
The Stockholm 2010 Metaphor Festival (SMF)
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
79fcfeff-85de-477a-99d0-828003c625ae (old id 4698557)
date added to LUP
2014-10-17 11:16:04
date last changed
2016-06-29 09:15:10
@misc{79fcfeff-85de-477a-99d0-828003c625ae,
  abstract     = {Examples from the affective domain have been plentifully employed for illustrating and sustaining the claims of the conceptual metaphor theory (Lakoff 1980, 1992, Kövecses 1986, 1990, 2000, King 1989, Yu 1995, Matsuki, 1995, Soriano-Salinas 2003, etc.). According to this position, affective concepts (as many other abstract concepts) are metaphorically structured, i.e. conceptualized in terms of more concrete domains. In the most radical version of this theory, the metaphoric structure of affective concept is posited as an obligatory conceptual universal: it is impossible to think and talk about affective experience without resorting to metaphor. <br/><br>
In this study extensive cross-linguistic qualitative data, collected on several superordinate affective categories in 6 languages (Scandinavian and Romance) and on 18 different basic-level categories in Danish and Romanian have been analysed with the aim of assessing (among others) whether 1) affective concepts are metaphorically structured and if so then; 2) to which extent (i.e. whether in an obligatory manner); 3) what are the likely formats and conceptual domains involved; 4) can “national styles” be delineated in people’s use (extent, format, content) of metaphor or other figurative language. <br/><br>
The data indicates that affective experience is generally conceptualized in terms of scenarios and that respondents access affective concepts metonymically, focusing first and foremost on antecedents and consequences of affect. Metaphor may abound when people have to deal with explaining the subjective feeling of having an affective experience, or when focusing on aspects pertaining to affect-induced cognitive biases, regulation and control strategies, but in none of the cases metaphor can be said to be obligatory. Such metaphors do not appear to accomplish a discriminatory role so that it could capture the specificity of affective experience in relation to other mental processes (such concepts may share, for instance, metaphors of mental causation or psychological force dynamics). Instead, metonymy affords metaphor. It is not the affective experience as a gestalt which is understood in terms of less abstract domains; the metaphoric mapping, when it applies, concerns specific aspects of affective experience which can be accessed, optionally, in a metaphoric or non-metaphoric way. Finally, the data do not allow for the identification of some affective master-metaphor (as suggested by previous studies) that would be able to summarize the types of knowledge elicited by accessing affective concepts (a theory- or knowledge-based approach to concepts is adopted here, in line with Murphy and Medin 1985, Murphy 2003).},
  author       = {Sauciuc, Gabriela-Alina},
  keyword      = {emotion,conceptualization,conceptual metaphor,metonymy,multilingual},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {The Metonymic Access of Emotion Concepts},
  year         = {2010},
}